About a year and a half ago, I put up these haiku signs–two on Kathryn Sreet and one on Cortez on Santa Fe’s westside.
The haiku is by Chiyo-ni, a medieval Japanese woman poet. Translation by Miriam Sagan and Isabel Winson-Sagan. Design, fabrication, and installation by Tim Brown and Isabel Winson-Sagan.
As is always the case, things happen around an installation.
One warm evening, I was called over to a group of old timers chatting on my block.
“The sign is because you’re Jewish,” one said.
My immediate neighbor didn’t agree. “It’s because she’s a poet!”
“But why do you say Jewish,” I wanted to know, because I am.
“Because the Jewish holidays are on the new moon,” he insisted correctly.
I don’t know where this knowledge came from, but New Mexico has its crypto-Jews. And its interdenominational friendships.
Other neighbors have a gorgeous orange wall that highlights their harvest of tomatoes, free to all. We call them “The Wall.” They call us “The Sign.”
The thrashers enjoy perching on it.